BBC reported yesterday that actress Emma Thompson has signed a deal with publishers Frederick Warne to write a new Peter Rabbit book. Frederick Warne reportedly asked Thompson to write the book for the 110th anniversary of author Beatrix Potter‘s original Peter Rabbit story.
Now, I’ve got to say, I’ve got mixed feelings about this news. On the one hand, I’ve got the highest respect for Emma Thompson. I think she’s a great actress and just really cool.
But, even though she has written screenplays for the latest Nanny McPhee movie, Nanny McPhee Returns, and Sense & Sensibility, writing screenplays is very different from writing books, much less a children’s book.
But No. 2, why did Frederick Warne ask Ms. Thompson instead of one of the many, many, many wonderful children’s authors around? Because she’s a great writer or because she’s a celebrity? Somehow I think it’s the latter, and to me, that’s not the right reason to give someone a job.
And but No. 3, do we really need a new Peter Rabbit book? Beatrix Potter’s originals are so wonderful, and it’s fantastic that they have been preserved as well as they have and are still being enjoyed by new generations. What will a new book mean to the already-loved books?
Now, I’m not saying that Emma Thompson won’t do a great job, and that the new book won’t be fantastic and really loved by all Peter Rabbit fans, but, I don’t know, this announcement just makes me go “hmmm.”
How do you feel about a new Peter Rabbit book and the hiring of Emma Thompson?